Life at its peak

For my lovely and awesome friends here, I have shared the latest updates from my life. And it also tells you about my whereabouts and why I haven’t been able to regularly post here at the moment.

http://kavitajoshitravels.com/2014/09/life-at-its-peak/

All of you who know me also would know I have this regular need for adventure in life hence whenever I can I try to indulge myself into some adventures. Here is the link to my new blog if you haven’t already subscribed to it.

I would love to keep in touch going forward hence please add me on twitter(KavitaJoshi84 ), facebook(https://www.facebook.com/KavitaJoshiTravels), Instagram, Pinterest, here and my new blog (http://kavitajoshitravels.com)

Have a lovely weekend you all!

Cheers,

Kavita

Hobart – 7th most famous cities in the world in 2013

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Leaving Sydney for Hobart, Tasmania

Awesome breakfast made by Sam (host)

Awesome breakfast made by Sam (host)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hobart – When I went to Tasmania, I wasn’t expecting much to be honest as the trip to Sunshine coast a few days before this made me a bit tired. And as it was going to be extreme change of weather from hot to cold so I was a bit nervous about my health as well. But then how come my trip can go without any adventure or a story to tell after all. So yes, I did have an awesome time with a lot to do in 4 days of my stay in Hobart that included meeting some really amazing people from Hobart.

The moment I arrived in Hobart I wrapped myself with scarf, beanie and a lot of clothes to make myself warm before leaving the plane and that worked really well. It was a dramatic entry to the city in the dark and cloudy night. This time I was about to experience my second couch surfing experience after Adelaide. I was a little bit nervous as this is something I am not very experienced after all and although I love meeting people but living at some one else’s place does throw you out of your comfort zone a little bit specially when saving money is not your priority.  But now when I look back I am glad that I did take the risk and did go ahead with my decision of being a couch surfer for one more time as otherwise I would not have met Sam, Steve and David. The most amazing and wonderful hosts in Hobart you can live with and have all the fun in the world. I cooked with David, learned salsa (I end up spinning in the wrong direction most of the times though) from Sam and Steve, did kayaking with  Steve and Sam, partied with Sam and his friends, watched a movie with Steve and Sam and so much more. I didn’t even feel that I just met them and rather felt like friends/family living at their place.

Seriously if you have never tried couch surfing then I would suggest to try it at least once in your life as this is such an amazing experience and if you meet some wonderful hosts like I did then you might have life time of memories to think about. Alright so what is about Hobart that makes it special. So here are some things that you should do when you are there:

  1. Visit Mona, museum of old and new art – This place defines art in some way. It is moreover based on the concept of death and sex so you might not like to take kids everywhere or may be just don’t give them Audio if they are very young. The owner, David Walsh, has described this museum as ‘subversive adult Disneyland’. This place gives you the feel of Hobart as art dominating place and it will also its opening date is same as the third MONA FOMA festival (21st January 2011).
  2. Salamanca Market – Every Saturday this famous market is held next to the beautiful dockland of Hobart. You might like to just walk around this area in case you have other plans on Saturday morning. Also this place lit-up in the night and is very famous among the party goers during the weekend due to many famous pubs and bars around.   20130808_101242      20130808_101502       20130808_102650
  3. Trip to Bruny Island – This trip usually takes three hours if you have your own car to get to the point from where the ferry leaves for the echo adventure tour otherwise day tours are also available. There is a seal colony at another edge of this island. You can spend some time knowing more about seals at this place.
  4. Mount Wellington – 1,271 meters high, this mountain is also referred as ‘The Mountain’ by the locals here. Hobart is located at the foothill of this mountain. And good news is that you can drive to the top as there is a road build by the many hard working people right up to the top for those who either don’t have enough time for trekking or don’t want to walk due to the bad weather. It was winter when I was there so I was able to get some snow at the peak of this mountain. There is a lookout near the summit from where you can get some really good views although it was raining and sky was a cloudy when I was there so I wasn’t able to spot much other than fog from here. You can read more about it’s history on the various steel slabs in this lookout and feel the part of this place itself.  20130809_16295420130809_162714 20130809_163056 20130809_163122 20130809_163605 20130809_163650
  5. Kayaking in the Derwent river around Hobart is an amazing way to explore the beautiful surroundings of Hobart

Also for more attraction other than the above you can use the below links.

Fabulous Day at Byron Bay – Kayaking, Flying and some sight seeing

    So now that you know how it all started, you might be ready to know the best part of the day. And if you missed the last part then here is the link to it:
    It all happened so quickly when I was wondering about the plan for rest of the day in this new place. I saw the advertisement for Kayaking and one of my friends had told me about this awesome experience as must have in Byron Bay. And the hostel manager of Cape Byron Lodge(oldest backpacker in Byron Bay – http://www.capebyronlodge.com) was quiet nice to book it quickly for me and before I unpacked all the stuff I got the time for their pickup around 9:30 AM and within half an hour I was on my way for Kayaking (http://www.goseakayakbyronbay.com.au).

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It was exactly what I need, splash of water, a bumpy entry into the ocean through some rough waves that almost flicked me out of the boat and a serene beauty of the place to look at. I was almost lost in the place and this whole fun experience. It was a reward of all that hard work I felt and all that planning that went behind this. I was so relaxed that I almost forgot all about morning. We spotted so many dolphins while kayaking. Me and my buddy even went back to catch some more waves but the second time we got washed away by the bigger waves. It was great fun and the people in the kayaking company were super friendly that started this whole trip in a very nice manner. I met many interesting and friendly people on this trip and when I came back I couldn’t stop smiling thinking about such an interesting morning. Once I was back in hostel I requested the manager for some more information on hand gliding as I had heard that it is also a very nice activity that you can do and it was on my bucket list as well. He even booked one for me, although a different version with micro light plane as the wind was not good for flying otherwise. img_6072_med_hr img_6073_med_hrimg_6091_med_hr It was good to fly over the coastal line of Byron Bay with an expert pilot (http://byronbayskysurfers.com). And after my flight I made friends with few pilots and one of them offered me a ride but unfortunately I had to head back to hostel but I promised to come back to Byron Bay again for it. See, very nice people really. I love Byron Bay J After returning to my hostel I went to the light house and the hostel manager was very friendly to arrange the hostel van to give me a ride to the light house. And I had some cool shot of sunset after two of my other adventures. It was the best way to wind down the day really.

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 I was thinking to go out that night even though I have quit drinking but I can still enjoy with plain juice I thought. But then I had arranged the Hot Air Ballooning the other day so it made sense to get some rest before my pick up around 5:15 AM the next day. I made some noodles and had some baked apple for my dinner and went to bed with a happy soul J Best day after getting burnt out last week with hectic life and work not that this day wasn’t busy but I guess this is my way to relax 😉 So what happens the next day? Yes I am about to start writing about that so stay tuned. And here is the link to the next post.

Second day at Byron Bay – Hot Air Ballooning with a bunch of Sky Divers

 

Hot Air Ballooning with bunch of Sky Divers and me in the basket

I have more pictures on my Facebook page for this site. Please check more pictures there as due to increasing size restriction I didn’t upload more pictures here.

I will be back with the exciting story of this weekend adventure of mine. As you know it never is simple and this time wasn’t different either. But I would not like to change it for anything really 🙂 So stay tuned and look for my next post to read about how I missed my station and end up in another town and how I started my day with kayaking with dolphins and then flew in a plane. All unplanned but exciting things after which I end up flying in a Hot Air Balloon the next day for a adventurous morning with other 7 Sky Divers who were jumping off the plane.

 

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Kayaking in Nepal – Some serious fun

It was one of the best experiences I had that continued for 4 days unlike many other adventures that last only few hours. Yes, I am talking about my experience of Kayaking in Nepal this year. I paddle river Trisuli being relatively new to this sport. But I am determined to go back to Nepal to kayak in more than one river this time as it has got a lot to offer. It’s was one of the best holiday where we were staying in camp site and had proper meal for three times with snacks in between. All we had to do was have breakfast and go for kayaking, take a break for lunch and then paddle again for few hours and come back for evening tea. Then we played volleyball with the locals and then get ready for delicious dinner. It couldn’t have been better as all we had to do was lots of adventure all day. Nepal is one of the best and cheap places to kayak with some of the world’s best rivers. Nepal has got a lot to offer from hiking to paragliding, kayaking to rafting and so much more. I can’t wait to go back to do more of everything. I would give you some overview of the various rivers that you can run in Nepal. You can hire all the gears and the kayak there only so no need to pack everything from home with you. But some essentials would be good to have:

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Gears required: Kayak, life jacket, helmet, wetsuit, dry bags for gears, tent (if you are camping on the way to the final destination), and personal gear bag

Items that you would need for camping (minimum requirement): Sleeping bag, light weight pants, a fleece style jacket, toiletries, light weight sleeved t-shirt, spare glasses, water bottle, long sleeved thermal top and bottoms, light weight hiking boots, toilet paper and lighter, day pack (depending whether you are hiking to get to the river trip or not). If you are planning to kayak on your own then you might also have to carry the gears mentioned above with meal and cooking utensils.

Items to carry with you in the river: Sunscreen, sunglasses, shorts, swimwear, river sandals (they are handy when you have to walk in shallow water on the rocks holding your kayak),

Courses: If you are new to Kayaking then you can start with ‘Beginner Kayak Clinic’ course that usually is for 4 days. Otherwise Intermediate and Advanced Kayak Courses are also available here for more experienced paddlers.

 Cost: It can cost you around 35 USD to 50 USD per day for food, accommodation and gears, depending upon which river you are paddling. It is good to ask the rates from different tour operators decide according to your budget. Sometimes they also include transport to and from the destination so make sure to ask them beforehand as it’s a long way to get to the camp site sometimes. We got free transport from Pokhara to the camp site and then after we finish the course they dropped us to Kathmandu for free which was our next destination as Trisuli river is same distance both from Kathmandu and Pokhara.

 Tour Operators: This is one of the main sources of income in Nepal so there are many tour companies that are involved in this business. Here are links for some of them although once you are there it’s better to check out their shop and have a chat as that will give you more confidence with the people and their services.

 Before I start talking about various Rivers in Nepal, here is the definition of various grades of rapids in White Water Rivers:

  • Grade I – Flat water, No rapids
  • Grade II – Bubbling current, small rapids
  • GradeIII – More technical and require more expertise
  • Grade IV & V – Seriously big rapids. Require some kayaking experience and confidence in water since there are possibilities of getting stuck in the whirlpool if the kayak flips or can’t control the direction of kayak
  • Grade VI – Not run by the tour companies due to the serious risk involved

 Rivers

  1. Trisuli – It is great for beginners or good for experienced paddlers to warm up before they go for other rivers. It is easily accessible from Kathmandu as well as Pokhara. This river swells enormously during the monsoon season and that time it is one of the most challenging and dangerous river to paddle.                                                               Duration: 1 – 3 Days, Distance: 60 kilometers Trisuli
  2. Seti – This River is again divided into Lower Seti and Upper Seti. Lower Seti is great for families due to its calm and relaxing water and gentle rapids, whereas Upper Seti is good for intermediate Kayakers. This river Seti has plenty of grades I – III rapids and it provides a scenic view of the valley, forests and a nice white sandy beach.              Duration: 1/2 – 2 Days, Distance: 32 kilometers, Grade: I – IIISeti
  3. Bhote Kosi – This River is great for continuous rapids of grade IV and V at high flow and grade III at lower flows. It is very close to Kathmandu hence easily accessible. Not long but full of fun and adventure and also provide a scenic view of the surroundings. People do get a chance to feel being in a washing machine in the river and have couple of swims generally until unless you are really good with kayaking. This is a perfect river for a roller coaster ride because of the drops it provides. This goes near Tibet border.                                                                                 Duration: 1 – 2 Days, Distance: 22 kilometers Bhote Kosi
  4. Kali Gandaki – Great for fun and also known as the Holy River, Kali is known to be named after the Hindu goddess for destruction. It is flowing between Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain range and takes you to the deepest point. It provides grade III, IV and V grade challenging rapids where more techniques will be required. Like other rivers, this river also gives you a closer view of the beautiful wildlife.                                                                           Duration: 3 Days, Distance: 90 kilometers, Grade: III – VKali Gandaki
  5. Marshyandi – This river is some serious fun and requires some skills to go down on it is one of the best white water river that runs in the world. It provides rapids with IV and V grades and require discipline to really get through them as it has many technical and steep rapids throughout the stretch.                                                                             Duration: 3 – 5 Days, Distance – 27 kilometers, Grade: IV – VMarshyandi
  6. Sun Kosi – Longest river trip with a stretch of almost 270 Kilometer, Sun Kosi is almost 3 hours drive from Kathmandu.  It is also known as one of the top 10 rivers in the world to paddle. It provides breath-taking scenery all along the way. It has rapids of all grades from II to V. By the time you run this river you can cover from Tibetan border to North Indian plains.                                                                                                                                                              Duration: 8 – 10 Days, Distance: 270 kilometers, Grade: III – VSun Kosi
  7. Karnali – This river has earned a lot of respect for being the mightiest river in Nepal. It gives you a fulfillment to run this river as it has everything for a kayaker from various range of rapids to technical steep drops. It does give you a reason to boast about your kayaking skills once you have paddled this river. It is also one of the top 10 rivers in the world to paddle. It has rapids from grade III to V+.                                                                                      Duration: 8 – 10 Days, Distance: 180 kilometers, Grade: III – V+Karnali
  8. Tamur – Not so commercial, this river provides exceptionally challenging white-water rapids. With beautiful view of the gorge it passes through the secluded beaches and wilderness in Nepal. There are towering canyons around this river that makes it more challenging during the first 16 kilometres with high grade rapids.                         Duration: 11 Days, Distance: 120 kilometers, Grade: III – IVTamur
  9. Bheri – This is more over for family trips with amazing scenery and easy rapids of grade II to III.                    Duration: 4 days Distance: 105 kilometers, Grade: II – III
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Awesome days doing River Kayaking – Thrishuli River, Nepal

Loved the thrill, fun, fear and adventure